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1 Samuel 14:16-30Revised Standard Version (RSV)

16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gib′e-ah of Benjamin looked; and behold, the multitude was surging hither and thither.[a] 17 Then Saul said to the people who were with him, “Number and see who has gone from us.” And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there. 18 And Saul said to Ahi′jah, “Bring hither the ark of God.” For the ark of God went at that time with the people of Israel. 19 And while Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the camp of the Philistines increased more and more; and Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” 20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and went into the battle; and behold, every man’s sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion. 21 Now the Hebrews who had been with the Philistines before that time and who had gone up with them into the camp, even they also turned to be with[b] the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 Likewise, when all the men of Israel who had hid themselves in the hill country of E′phraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they too followed hard after them in the battle. 23 So the Lord delivered Israel that day; and the battle passed beyond Beth-a′ven.

Saul’s Rash Oath

24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day; for Saul laid an oath on the people, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies.” So none of the people tasted food. 25 And all the people[c] came into the forest; and there was honey on the ground. 26 And when the people entered the forest, behold, the honey was dropping, but no man put his hand to his mouth; for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath; so he put forth the tip of the staff that was in his hand, and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes became bright. 28 Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food this day.’” And the people were faint. 29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land; see how my eyes have become bright, because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found; for now the slaughter among the Philistines has not been great.”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 14:16 Gk: Heb they went and thither
  2. 1 Samuel 14:21 Gk Syr Vg Tg: Heb round about, they also, to be with
  3. 1 Samuel 14:25 Heb land
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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